And here they come again down the stretch!

When I think of the tomorrow’s primary election, I’m viewing it through a longer term lens:

Not that long ago I wrote that the Occupy movement and the TEA Party had far more in common with each other than they ever will with the politicians that purport to represent them.

Before those of you on the political right go into raging denial consider this from one of the smartest guys in the room that hails from the left about Eric Cantor’s crushing primary defeat:

For the time being, though, Tea Party populism is boxed in in such a way that it only further serves the establishment cause. But, unlike the perpetually moribund and bought off left, the populists on the right are the only players with even a slight chance of shaking things up. In many ways that’s a frightening prospect but it might also be the closest thing to a hopeful prospect one can imagine right now.

Jeffrey equates Bobby Jindal with the TEA Party and while I think it is true Jindal panders to the TEA Party he is not one of them. Same for Steven Palazzo.  As for Cantor’s crushing primary election loss a couple of days ago The Economist had an interesting take:

Most GOP members have more to fear from their primary voters than from the general election in November. The Cook Political Report and RealClearPolitics, two political augurs, agree that there are only 17 competitive House races out of 435, so for most Republican congressmen the risk of suffering the same fate as Mr Cantor feels like the bigger threat to their jobs.

And what does this have to do with the commonalities I detect between the political left and right? Its that P word again, Populism. The folks at The Economist detect the intersection of right and left in just the right spot in corporate welfare: Continue reading “And here they come again down the stretch!”

Other Voices | Wednesdays Wars: Say goodnight to the IRS Scandal

“It’s a nothingburger”. That’s how Chris Matthews described the Right’s effort to find a scandal in the IRS where there isn’t one. I agree. Indeed, when the dust settles, this matter will be more of a problem for the Right than the Left.

Let’s look at the essentials.

The Law. Since 1913, organizations that “engage exclusively in social welfare activities” are exempt from Federal Income Tax under the Internal Revenue Code.

The Regulations. In the 1950s, the IRS adopted a regulation that effectively changed the law to allow a tax exemption for organizations engaged “primarily” in social welfare activities.

If you find that weird, you’re right. The IRS, like all other government agencies, has no power (like zip, nada, bupkes) to change the clear requirements of a law passed by Congress.

Principled Republicans who believe in Constitutional government should be outraged by this usurpation of power by unelected bureaucrats at the IRS, of all places. The fact that they aren’t is evidence that the Party’s agenda is being driven by slick opportunists looking for any chance to tarnish Obama.

Targeting. The charge by the Right is that the IRS targeted groups with right-wing sounding names and went easy on groups with left-wing sounding names. That’s exactly what they should have been doing. Seriously. Continue Reading…….

Palazzo pummeling continues as the Sun Herald profiles the competitive field for our fluffer congressman.

Folks today Geoff Pender at the Sun Herald checks in with an extensive profile of the competitors lining up to unseat our bumbling fluffer Congressman Steven Palazzo that is far from the type of “namby-pamby tripe” that is normally found in political stories. It is so damn good I gotta excerpt it as the Sun Herald is a long way from the bad old days when they were reprinting Palazzo’s press releases as news without questioning the contents. Here are a few snippets:

He was swept into office last year by TEA Party–fueled anti-incumbency fervor, but now freshman U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo has some of the same forces lining up against him for his first re-election bid.

And one misstep after another producing headlines in Washington and at home isn’t helping him.

Pender goes on to identify Gene Taylor, Michael Watson and Brian Sanderson, names that have frequently popped up in the political blogs, as those challengers.  The fact Gene appears to be open to the possibility of another run is what makes today’s article as it would represent a shift for Team Taylor.  It is my hope Gene makes that run as he was in fact an excellent representative for this area as the list of folks the Boss Hogg hand-picked Palazzo has alienated in his own party is impressive as Pender catalogues all the Palazzo missteps less than one year in his term of office including using his taxpayer-funded staff as babysitters for his kids among other things: Continue reading “Palazzo pummeling continues as the Sun Herald profiles the competitive field for our fluffer congressman.”

Folks I get the feeling today is gonna be ugly on the markets

I in fact welcome this kind of day since it will put us on the road to MOABO. The only way it could be any better is if my broker dealing allowed me to short the indices in my retirement plan but they do not.  Barry Ritholtz over at the Big Picture explains why Congressmen like John Flemming are complete morons:

I suspect the Fed’s blunt language was telegraphing a message to Congress. Rates are at zero, mortgages are at 60 year loans, and yet demand simply is not there. The Fed has done pretty much all it can do. As we noted yesterday, responding to the weak economy at this point requires fiscal policy, rather than further monetary approach. “The Twist” and purchases of mortgage-backed paper is an attempt to rates down even further. It is hard to see how that can be effective in the current environment.

Don;t expect a policy response from the Austerians. These misguided politicos are in charge in D.C., despite having gotten the past few economic cycles precisely backwards. During the last expansion (2003-07), instead of raising taxes and cutting spending — managing the deficit, creating a better private/government spending ratio — the hypocritical deficit peacocks in the USA did the exact opposite. We cut taxes during (2) wartime, created yet another entitlement program, and raised yet other government spending during private sector economic expansion. Continue reading “Folks I get the feeling today is gonna be ugly on the markets”

There can only be one: Mississippi district 4 TEA Party candidate endorses Gene Taylor for Congress.

In connection with a few of the Louisiana elections we’ve covered I’ve opined several times that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, should be begin evaluating the candidates based upon character traits such as personal honesty before they consider party when pulling the lever.   The end result of putting crooks and political hacks in office is most evident in places like the Jefferson Parish School System and New Orleans City Government for instance as the cost to society is great.

I’ve written a good bit about the TEA Party here on Slabbed through time beginning with a Town Hall Meeting held by Congressman Taylor in Moss Point that I attended back in August 2009.  I’ve learned a good bit through that time as well.

Yesterday, former GOP/TEA Party candidate Joe Tegerdine crossed party lines endorsed Gene Taylor for Congress illustrating the concept of honesty over party.  We’ve covered the concerns these well intentioned folks on the political right have with Mr Palazzo and his family’s political connections to Boss Hogg’s political machine including the graft that is inherent to that gang. WLOX is all over this story and it is there we head next:

In the statement to the media, Tegerdine said, “I did not make this decision because I agree with all of his positions on the issues. I made this decision based on his record of integrity and willingness to be forthright with the people in our district.” Continue reading “There can only be one: Mississippi district 4 TEA Party candidate endorses Gene Taylor for Congress.”

What I like about livin’ way down south are the occasional Cat Fights. An Ana Maria of the Slabbed nation in the news again.

In today’s installment of right wing nuts gone wild I offer Grace “Bea” Harrison, owner of The Encore Group, a dissolved Mississippi Corporation and host of the Sunday morning show That’s What I Like About the South, where her wingnuttery goes on full display each Sunday morning.  I discovered the show by pure chance and figured out quickly she was buying the time slot from the local Fox affiliate and selling her own advertising.  After seeing her coverage of the August 2009 Gene Taylor Town Hall meeting, an event I attended as a member of the local media it did not take long to open my mind to the possibility that ol’ Bea may have a few screws loose to go along with the serious hard on she has for our Congressman, Gene Taylor.  I never blogged about ol’ Bea but did resolve to not patronize any of her advertisers including the local italian restaurant Salute (which has good food) as I was not interested in helping Ms Harrison fund her jackassery. 

The Moss Point meeting was my first experience with the local TEA Party movement. I want to make sure the Slabbed Nation in Louisiana understands we’re all for political expression here at Slabbed but these right wing nuts on my side of the line are what gives the TEA Party movement such a bad name nationwide IMHO.  After reading a poll which appeared in the New York Times earlier this year, I also figured out the local TEA Party here on the Mississippi Coast does not match the demographics revealed in the NY Times poll, which did happen to closely mirror my experiences from meeting the Jefferson Parish based Citizens for Good Government back in June.  Simply put Citizen Activists like Margie Seemans show for all the meetings but do not disrupt them. 

The gang over here follows Gene Taylor from town to town across the 4th district trying to disrupt all of his constituent meetings. These meeting are important to local folks in places like Waynesboro, Mississippi who get a great opportunity to get help with navigating the federal bureaucracy.  At the Moss Point meeting for example, there was an older man on the front row with an adult child that was severely mentally handicapped who attended the meeting for a damn good reason.  It sure is easier to help people when there isn’t a group a 15-20 wingnuts acting like asses. This of course explains some of the more biting criticism I’ve levied against the TEA Party movement. Here on Slabbed though, we are all for open exchange of ideas which is why even Dan Triplett has commented here in the past free from personal attack. If I were asked, my advice to the Mississippi coast TEA Party movement would be to go meet Miss Margie over in Jefferson Parish and learn some manners. Continue reading “What I like about livin’ way down south are the occasional Cat Fights. An Ana Maria of the Slabbed nation in the news again.”